Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Just a note in passing regarding something that came up
Online narrative writing practices, especially those associated with fanfic writing have spawned a reading and peer editing process generally referred to as 'beta reading'. Basically, the process involves the author posting a narrative, or a chapter from a more extended narrative, to a relatively private public space like a blog before publishing it in a wider or more formal venue, including as meatspace novels, and asks for reader feedback on work done so far (e.g., the novel,Four and Twenty Blackbirds was written this way). Now, Diane Duane, a writer of young adult fiction, is posting online installments of her latest novel, Feline Wizards 3: The Big Meow, for readers to review and provide feedback on....
Erm. Can I clear something up here (before the mailbox starts filling up with kindly offers)? I'm not posting the chapters "for readers to review and provide feedback on." I'm publishing them to publish them. :)
...Oh, doubtless there'll be some critique and comment here and there; but that was never the point of putting the chapters up. (Nor would I dream of trying to blanket-pressgang beta readers in such a manner: it'd smack too much of trying to get other people to do my work for me.) The idea has been (a) to let people see the material as it would go to an editor in first-draft form: (b) and just plain to let them read and enjoy it, since a lot of folks clearly want access to it the very minute each chapter is ready. (BTW, editorial is handled: I've already hired a professional editor -- one I've worked with before on more conventionally published books -- to assist me in going over the material when the book is done.)
So if anybody sees anything in the pages on the Big Meow website suggesting that I'm looking for critique on the material, or soliciting beta-readers, please let me know where it is so that I can get it out of there. I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea of what's going on.